Life, Death, Rebirth
Have you ever felt like you possessed a memory that wasn’t your own, like you’ve lived a life in another place, in another time? Have you ever felt like you were someone else, someone entirely different? Cat Winters’ novel, Yesternight, explores the concept of reincarnation with an intriguing and shocking mystery that is sure to leave you wanting more.
Set in 1925, the story details the journey of struggling child psychologist, Alice Lind. Traveling across the country administering IQ tests to groups of children, Alice has seen many peculiarities, but is convinced that psychology can explain everything. When she steps off the train and finds herself on the rain-soaked coast of Gordon Bay, Oregon, Alice believes she’s just there to do another job. She has no idea that her fixed ideology will soon be challenged by a remarkable and misunderstood child named, Janie O’Daire. Alice assumes that Janie’s disturbing past is only a figment of her imagination, but slowly begins to realize that Janie may actually be telling the truth. It is only when Janie’s account is validated that Alice unearths her own perplexing history. Alice’s life will never be the same once she understands who she truly is.
As you start to unravel what is happening in the story, you recognize that Alice is hiding something from you. Your narrator is keeping secrets. Alice drops hints here and there about her troubled childhood, but you never expect her to address them. Eventually, you begin to understand that even Alice doesn’t know what she’s hiding. It takes quite a while for Alice to reveal her entire backstory, but the wait is well worth it.
When I started reading Yesternight I thought I had some idea of where the story was going. I thought I knew what would happen in the end. I thought this fictional tale was quite tame, nothing splendid. Then, in just a few short chapters, everything changed. All of a sudden, the novel switches from a straightforward mystery to a supernatural thriller. It comes out of nowhere. It’s so sudden that you have to stop and verbally exclaim your surprise. The characters start out so strict and straitlaced, you’d never expect the story to take on such a dark turn. You’d never expect Yesternight to transform the story so drastically it almost becomes unrecognizable. The novel ends with such a bombshell, you’ll immediately demand the story be continued. Yet, you’ll somehow be satisfied with the spooky cliffhanger.
The novel is split into three parts, but pay no attention to the division. The reason for their existence will only become apparent once you’ve finished the novel. Each section seamlessly intertwines with one another, even if you sometimes feel like you’re reading a different story entirely. The variance in tone only enhances your experience, it takes nothing away from it.
This was one of those books that came out of nowhere for me. It wasn’t on my to-be-read list. I just picked it because of the back cover summary and the discounted cost. I’m so glad I took a chance on it. Even though the writing is a tad simple, Yesternight holds your interest completely. It’s a quick read. You’ll easily find no trouble with it. You’ll be able to finish it within a day and a half. Yesternight was such a delight to read, it’s a book I can see myself coming back to again and again.
Book Rating: A-
Have you read Yesternight? Will you? What did you think of the book? What did you think of the story? The characters? Should there be a sequel? A film adaptation? Have you read any other books by Cat Winters? Tell me in the comments!